For most companies out there, remote work and hybrid arrangements are the new normal.
During the pandemic, you likely created remote work policies and procedures on the fly, but now with some stability returning, it’s important to create solid, permanent policies.
But drafting these policies isn’t so simple. There can be health, safety and diversity concerns. Not to mention, you’ll want the policy to fit with your culture and be legally compliant.
Here are five tips on how to create effective, compliant remote work policies, courtesy of employment law attorneys Marjorie Culver and Caitlin Lane of the firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
It’s important to put in writing everyone’s remote work arrangement. Each employee has unique circumstances and different needs – it’d be impossible to keep track of it all without documenting it.
And when it comes to hiring new employees, you’ll likely want to incorporate remote work language into their offer letter and contracts.
Cross-border work arrangements
Remote work may sound like employees can work from anywhere in the world, but it’s not always that easy.
There could be corporate and income tax issues as well as data security concerns. Another simple problem that could arise is time zone differences.
You could be legally obligated to pay for certain at-home expenses for your remote employees.
It’s also important for employers and employees to be on the same page about what equipment is needed to do the job. Stipends and allowances should also be discussed.
Health and safety
Employers are still responsible for providing employees with safe working environments, even at home. While employees’ homes have fewer risks than physical workplaces, new issues can crop up.
For example, remote employees often suffer feelings of isolation and depression more than others. Employers should prepare to help address these the same way they would a physical safety issue.
Not only can this policy help you attract new talent, it can help you increase diversity at your company. Employees who have trouble leaving the house, whether it be because they’re disabled or caretakers, will be able to join your team. In your policy, think about how you’d present this perk to prospective talent.